June 27, 2013

Important Announcements

The New Open Suite of Programs and Peer Review Process Transition


The implementation of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) design for the new Open Suite of Programs and peer review processes represents a significant change for the research community. CIHR recognizes the importance of carefully managing the implications for researchers who are supported by CIHR’s existing Open Suite of Programs, and is committed to minimizing disruptions.

CIHR will be taking a measured approach to implementing the changes. The transition plan includes piloting key elements of the design, phasing-in the new programs and gradually phasing-out the existing Open programs. It is our intention to keep the research community informed of any changes to the transition plan as the Open Suite of Programs and peer review enhancements are implemented.

Piloting Peer Review Design Elements

CIHR will conduct various pilot studies and tests of the new design between early 2013 and mid-2016. These pilots will assess the proposed design elements, new processes, and systems. If significant changes are required to the design as a result of the outcomes of the pilots, timelines for the overall transition will be adjusted. It is our intent to share our findings with the research community, and contribute to the body of literature on peer review.

Phasing-in the New Programs and College of Reviewers

The phase-in of the new Open funding schemes will occur over the course of several competition cycles. It will begin with the launch of two Foundation Scheme “live pilot” competitions with application deadlines scheduled for fall 2014 and 2015. The first regular Foundation competition application deadline is scheduled for fall 2016. The first Project Scheme competition application deadline is scheduled for spring 2016.

To support the new peer review process, the College of Reviewers will be built as a collaborative national resource that will focus on the recruitment, orientation, performance management, and recognition of reviewers. The College will be implemented in phases between spring 2013 and 2016.

CIHR is committed to ensuring that adequate time and support is available to help the research community navigate through this transition period.

Transitioning from Existing Programs and Processes

CIHR recognizes the importance of carefully managing the implications for grantees that are currently supported by CIHR’s existing Open Suite of Programs. CIHR will hold two more Open Operating Grant Program competitions (fall 2013 and spring 2014). There will also be a transitional Open Operating Grant Program competition in spring 2015, which will be held in parallel to the first “live pilot” of the Foundation Scheme. Other existing Open programs will be phased-out after the launch of the first Project Scheme competition.

CIHR recognizes that changing application deadlines may have an impact on currently funded researchers, as well as unfunded researchers seeking support. We will communicate an approach to mitigate these effects to the research community in summer 2013.

For transition timelines, click HERE.
For the foundation scheme, click HERE.
For the project scheme, click HERE.

A Message on Behalf of REO for Human Research Ethics

The Health Research Ethics Board reviews ethics applications submitted by researchers in the Health Sciences Faculties within the University of Alberta, as well as research conducted by researchers affiliated with Alberta Health Services and Covenant Health and/or accessing participants or their records within those Institutions.

The two panels of HREB (Biomedical and Health) have approximately 2500 active studies and receive about 40 new applications each month. The panels are comprised of faculty members, AHS/Covenant representatives and community members who serve in a volunteer capacity on these boards.

The Research Ethics Office of the University of Alberta is looking for someone to serve as Chair on the HREB – Health Panel. This panel is responsible for reviewing non-invasive intervention protocols, epidemiological investigations, record reviews, non-therapeutic physiological investigations and qualitative inquiries. Anticipated effective date of August 1, 2013.

Relying on TCPS2, University Policy and the Research Ethics & Management Online (REMO) system, the Chair is responsible for reviewing, proposing modifications to and approving any proposed or ongoing health research involving humans, human specimens and/or health information and/or medical records. Knowledge of TCPS2, University Policy, the Health Information Act, the Hospitals Act and the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act will be utilized to facilitate reviews. The position works closely with and is supported by an experienced, dedicated REB Administrator, as well as the REO office, and requires good computer skills.

The Chairs of the University REBs are volunteers, however there is a modest annual research stipend available for this service.

Any interested applicants should contact Kim Kordov, Research Ethics Office.

Email: kordov@ualberta.ca
Phone: 780.492.2615

AHS Research Portfolio Website

The research portfolio is pleased to announce that the new research website has gone live Tuesday June 18, 2013.

Click HERE to visit the website.

Programs and Events

SAVE THE DATE: Research Network Fest

The Research Network Fest is an opportunity to learn about cutting-edge health research initiatives. This year’s theme is Exploring the Breadth and Depth of Cancer Research in Alberta.

Researchers will present on the full breadth and depth of cancer research:

  • Prevention
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment

September 27, 2013
7:30a.m. – 1:00p.m.
Aurora Room, Lister Centre, Edmonton

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